You’ve never tried sushi!

She orders a chai. I don’t even know what chai is.
‘I’ll just have a tea.’ I say. And she says,
‘She means English Breakfast, she’ll have milk but no sugar.’ I’ve irritated her, I think, because I asked for tea not English Breakfast. The young man behind the counter nods at me with sympathy. He must see lots of mums in here ordering the wrong thing.
‘Where would you like to sit?’ I ask her.
‘Anywhere’s fine.’ She says, not because she doesn’t mind, but because she doesn’t care. She slumps into a chair at the back in a corner and I sit opposite.
‘It’s nice to take the load off.’ I say. ‘I was ready for this tea.’
She’s looking at the door, waiting. I don’t know what for.
‘Yeah.’ She says. I’m running through topics in my head, dismissing them one by one because I don’t want to wind her up. Her Dad: annoying. Her studies (which we are paying for): I won’t understand. Her friends: apparently not my business. There’s very little left. Quite frankly, university has turned my daughter into a bit of a bitch. I’d love to share a swoon over the young man behind the counter who is dark haired and Eastern European and very handsome. I just know it will make her sick if I say so.
‘What shall we do this evening? I’ll treat us to dinner.’ I say.
‘Sure, nice. What do you wanna eat?’ The mother feeding the chick. Note to self: When in doubt, shoot for the basic instincts.
‘Shall we try that Japanese place we walked passed this morning? I’ve never tried Sushi.’
‘You’ve never tried sushi!’
‘Where would I have tried sushi? You know your Dad would never eat it. We’ve only got two options by us, Chinese or Indian, as you well know. Or have you forgotten your humble roots already my girl.’ I call her ‘my girl’ for a laugh sometimes. I think she still likes that, but I’m probably wrong.
‘Oh my god it’s criminal. You’ve really never tried sushi?’ It’s like magic, the way it opens her up into a smile.

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